Tips for Designing a Birthday Photo Book

Marianne Stenger
8th February 2021

Photo books make wonderful birthday presents because no two are ever alike, and they’re the type of gift that will stand the test of time. Whether your loved one has an important milestone birthday coming up or you just want to surprise them with something out of the ordinary this year, you can’t go wrong with a personalised birthday photo book

So, what sort of photos should you include and what goes into the making of a photobook like this? If you need some inspiration before you get started, here are some tips and ideas to help you design a memorable birthday photo book.

Choose a theme

If you’re not sure where to start, pick a theme for your birthday photobook. This will make it easier to keep the style of the book consistent throughout and collect photos that go well together. For example, the photo book’s theme could be something like friendship, travel memories or milestone birthdays throughout the years. Your theme could also be as simple as ‘black and white’ or ‘sepia,’ as this would make it easier to edit all your chosen photos in a similar style.

Tell a story

The best photo books tell a story, so think about what story you’d like your birthday book to tell. Break the book up into a beginning, a middle and an end, and think about what photos you’d like to include in each section. Childhood snaps? Group shots from important events? Holiday highlights? Also, be sure to leave some white space around each photo to prevent the pages from looking cluttered. If you have a few particularly nice photos, you can even give them their own page or double page spread. Bob Books lay-flat bound books are perfect for this.

Scan in your old photos

Another fun idea for your birthday photo book is to include some family history, especially if it’s for an important milestone birthday. This 40th birthday memory book in the Bob Bookshop is a great example of combining historical family photos with present day snaps. Of course, since there’s a good chance many of the family history and childhood photos you have are not digitised yet, you may have to start by scanning them in. Fortunately there are some excellent free apps that make scanning your collection of old photographs simple.

Personalise it 

Designing a birthday photo book is a great opportunity to highlight your loved one’s interests, hobbies or anything else you know they’ll appreciate on a personal level. This could mean incorporating artwork or paintings, meaningful poems and fun stories, or photos of specific hobbies, sports and beloved pets. Including a few personal messages from close friends and family members can also add a special touch and make the photo book even more precious to flip through years down the line.

Take your time with the cover

Your photo book’s cover is important as it’s the first thing the recipient will see, so don’t leave it as an afterthought. Look for a compelling or eye-catching photo that conveys the theme of the book or highlights the recipient’s unique personality. Simpler photos with plain backgrounds often work best as photobook covers, because there is less chance of accidentally obscuring the text with too many colours or details.

Use exclusive features

Finally, for extra special birthdays, why not try some of the exclusive features that are available from Bob Books? For instance, you can apply gold, silver or gloss cover highlights to the text, frames and clipart on your book’s front and back cover. This is a great way to highlight the text and complement your cover image while also adding a sleek finish. 

Another way to make your birthday photobook extra special is to include a QR code for video. When using the Bob Designer software, you’ll have the option of adding your own video, which could be anything from a personalised birthday message from friends and family to a highlight reel of memorable moments. The recipient will then be able to watch this video on their phone by simply scanning the QR code.

Need some more inspiration? Check out these creative ideas for your next photobook. Or, if you’re ready to begin the design process, you can start by selecting your preferred size, paper type and binding style, and download our popular Bob Designer Software.